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Topeka, KS brutal death metal masters Unmerciful recently released their third album Wrath Encompassed on the venerable Willowtip Records. The album is easily their most punishing album to date and is already poised to go down as one of the most devastating metal releases of the year. I got in contact with longtime bassist Jeremy Turner to discuss the new album and the band’s efforts to create the most punishing music possible.
It’s been just a little over a month since the last Oddles of Brutals; that has to be some sort of record. 2020 continues to be a banner year for all sorts of sonic brutality, so without further ado, let’s take a look at another batch of brutal, slamming and technical death metal marvels.
We’re just a little past the first quarter mark for 2020, but metal fans have already been treated to a deluge of quality brutal death metal; from the mind-bending technicality of Odious Mortem, to the crushing slams of Engutturalment Cephaloslamectomy, to the unmitigated violence of Unmerciful, it’s shaping up to be a hell of a year. But sitting at the top of this monolithic BDM heap is Spawn of Almighty Essence, the sophomore album from Ukrainian skull-smashers Schizogen.
What happens when Earache Records signs a hardcore techno DJ based on the strengths of their remixes of Morbid Angel and Deicide tracks and then lets said DJ record a metal album? The answer is The Berzerker’s pulverizing self-titled debut recording, which turns twenty years old today and still stands as a pillar of wildly creative what-the-fuckery in the annals of extreme music.
What is Architectural Genocide? Is it when someone decides to round up a bunch of architects and off them en masse? Is it when a group of buildings becomes sentient and decides to wipe out another group of buildings for no apparent reason? I don’t have a fucking clue, but I do know that Houston, TX death metallers Architectural Genocide have a wicked good debut on their hands in the form of Cordyceptic Anthropomorph (whew, what a mouthful!) which was released back in mid-March by that ever-reliable bastion of brutality known as Comatose Music.
When you’re young and just starting to get into a specific style of music, you tend to start with the biggest, most well-known band in that style and work your way deeper and deeper underground from there. When I was first getting into death metal, one of the gateway bands of the genre was Cannibal Corpse. I mean, they were in Ace Ventura for fuck’s sake; but even before that they were one of the most easily accessible death metal bands there was for a kid growing up in the bowels of the Midwest, their gruesome album covers leering at me from the stacks at Musicland and Disc Jockey, beckoning me to sample their disgusting delights.
Sacramento’s bestial black/death masters Defecrator recently went on indefinite hiatus, but from their ashes an uglier, more barbaric entity has risen in the form of Abhorrency. The band just posted their debut demo on Bandcamp earlier this month and rest assured it’s some seriously gnarly black shit.
Japan’s Gorevent are the undisputed heavyweight champions of minimalist slam. Over the course of a decade and a half, the band have successfully stripped the sub-subgenre of slamming brutal death metal down to its molten core; no technical flourishes, no guitar solos, no bullshit, just slam in its purest, grooviest form. Fate is a testament to Gorevent’s continued dedication to keeping things as boneheaded as possible, and there ain’t a damn thing wrong with it.